Eating Ice Cream with My Fingers – A Fresh Perspective

I am in year 3 of my blog.

In the early days of this blog, there are posts that received little exposer.

I have a new category ‘Reruns – A Fresh Perspective’.  This category reposts these earlier posts that received little exposer and a fresh perspective on how I feel about them today.

This post was originally posted on May 19, 2015 –

Have you ever eaten ice cream with your fingers?

I remember back at a time, maybe 25 years ago, when I was going through one of many rough times in my life.

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This particular time in my life was rough because I was struggling to survive to make ends meet, to move forward.  This particular time in my life was just one of many where I was experiencing life’s bumpy road.  I was going through my divorce and working a job that did not pay well.  I was depressed, alone, paying child support for several kids, trying to pay bills, just trying to survive; and wondering where my next penny was coming from.  During this period of struggle, even though the money was minimal I needed to do something for myself.  I felt I needed to ‘treat’ myself because I did not want to neglect myself, I did not want to neglect my well-being.  I gave myself a ‘treat’ at least once a month.  One month I bought a cheap picture to put on a bare wall in my apartment of little furnishings.  I needed something to look at besides the wall paper.

Another month I decided to buy ice cream as a ‘treat’ for myself – I needed it!  I went to the store and bought the ice cream and was excited and looked forward to the moment of eating it because it was so desired.  As soon as I arrived to my apartment I immediately wanted to eat the ice cream.  But wait!  It occurred to me that I have no silverware; no spoons, no forks, no knifes, nothing.  I had no plates, no bowls, no cups; I had nothing!  My apartment of little furnishings was not going to prevent me from eating the ice cream I desired.  I used my fingers; I used my fingers for as long as I could, until they became cold and I felt they were getting frost bite.  The well desired ice cream was good and I felt good.

I think back at this one moment in time when I wanted something that I felt I needed, desired and deserved.  Even when the tools were not there for me to use, I ate my ice cream anyway.  I will never stop eating ice cream even when it appears sometime will prevent me from doing so.  There is nothing that can stop be from eating my ice cream.

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So, if you do not have the tools to eat your ice cream – don’t let that stop you, there is always another way to eat ice cream.  I know how.

A Fresh Perspective –

Not much has changed with this attitude today.  It is important to treat ourselves and especially when times are tough.  So, no matter the struggle, no matter the time in our life; we should ‘treat’ ourselves, even when we may not have the utensils to do so.

I had a bad day

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

My pain this past weekend was at its greatest and many pain pills were taken

I was tired, down, a little depressed and cried a lot

It started this past Saturday

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

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This past Sunday –

Someone said that when they take their last breath, which they indicated would be many years from now; they would be happy because they accomplished something

A couple became married

I watched as young women and men performed their military PT (Physical Training) in the morning from the window of my RV

I observed people enjoying life and having fun

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

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I was asked the other day by someone, you seem unhappy

I responded I am unhappy

I am unhappy because I have Stage 4 Bladder Cancer

I am unhappy because I am going through chemotherapy

I am unhappy because I have a bag attached to the side of my body

I am unhappy because I have lost 30 pounds of body weight

I am unhappy because I have major chronic pain

I am unhappy because I wake in the mornings with pain

I am unhappy because I go to bed at night with pain

I am unhappy because I am not enjoying life

I am unhappy because Gary is not enjoying life

I am unhappy because I cannot plan for the future

I am unhappy because I wait and wait for a time to take tests that will determine my future

I am unhappy because many other people are enjoying life

I many times in posts, comments and videos use the phrase ‘Happy Day’

I was not having a happy day

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

Then it changed

Almost one year ago today my post ‘it’s not a dream‘, began with these words –

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I woke this morning my usual time between 4-5 AM with the same thoughts on my mind as I had when I laid my head down on the pillow the night before.  As I am drinking my coffee I think about these thoughts and I think to myself ‘Was that a dream?’  Then it occurs to me, ‘No it’s not a dream.’  The events of the day before really did occur.

Almost one year later in this post, I begin with the following words –

Many of you know what took place last year and what has taken place so far this very young year.

There are times I write my thoughts down or voice record them for future use in a post.  Sometimes these thoughts are then forgotten for a while until a later time when I want to write a post about them.  Some of these thoughts were documented when I was in a certain mood or having specific feelings about my life at a particular time.

The following is some of that documentation; it was sometime last year, before Stage 4, before chemotherapy, before surgery and before recovery –

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I do not feel inspirational, I do not feel strong, I do not feel anything.  You my friends write comments with compliments.  I wake in the mornings to feel pain and I cry.  Not because of the cancer, not because I am dealing with stuff of the day.  I feel nobody understands, I know it is just me – I am not receiving the support and interest that I want.  It upsets me because I really do not feel anyone is really interested in me.  I know people are, and my family is, but I really do not feel they are – I feel like I am going through this alone.  Really, nobody is truly interested.  I get on the phone and when I do receive a phone call, I just say ‘It is all good, everything will be fine.’  ‘I have some aches and pains.’  But truly I do not want them to know what I really am feeling.  I do not sugarcoat it but do not want to give them all the information because I do not want to bring them down.  I do not feel inspirational, I am just dealing with anger, dealing with pain, dealing with tiredness.  I do not feel grateful or thankful or happy – I have no motivation.  I do not feel anything positive right now, everything right now is an effort – nothing is great – I just exist.

Today, in this post, I want to conclude with the following –

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But then it changed.  Why?  Because the body became sicker and the illness more serious?

What changed is I received a great deal of support and encouragement from you.

I am currently recovering from my surgery and I continue to receive support and encouragement from you – just what the doctor ordered.

(Note: my responses to your comments will be delayed this week.  Please understand I continue to be in recovery mode and am moving slow.)

‘Faith’

George, you bring tears to my eyes.

George Michael died several days ago, and my tears continue to flow.

Back in January of this year I wrote a post ‘we do know them, and we grieve‘; it concluded with the following –

laurajack.com has an article titled ‘Why do we cry when famous people die?‘ and includes the following –

This begs the question, why do we cry when famous people die?

As they say at the Grief Recovery Institute, we do know them, we just haven’t met them in person.  We all have an emotional relationship with people who we admire, and perhaps even hope to meet them one day.  Therefore, when they die, we grieve because we have a emotional relationship with them that feels incomplete.

Grief is part of our evolution as humans.  Without loss and grief, we don’t grow.  Experiencing sadness, heart-ache, fear or any other emotion, is part of life, as hard as it may be sometimes.  It is what allows us to continue to transform.

So, whether we lose a family member or a person we admired, grief is normal.  Allow yourself and others to feel and be compassionate and loving because that is what we need to heal.

In today’s post, I needed to write the following –

George, you bring tears to my eyes.

George Michael died several days ago, and my tears continue to flow.

As indicated in the above article, I have an emotional relationship with George Michael and I am grieving because he is gone.  But he was just a singer and artist; a person with great talent – there are many others that fit this same description.

I published a post November 2015 titled ‘My Time in a Psychiatric Hospital‘, in which I wrote about my experience in a psychiatric hospital and my feelings and views about this time in my life.  This event in my life occurred in the late 1980s and was one of many turning points in my life that led me here today.  With much time on my hands while in the psychiatric hospital, I listened to music.

I have memories today of that time in my life and the music I listened to was significant to me as I felt at times it was created just for me at that time in my life.  There was a singer and artist of that time who had a very successful selling album titled ‘Faith’.

Depression years led me to attempt suicide that led me to a psychiatric hospital; that ultimately led me here today.

I needed ‘Faith’ back then, those many years ago, and I still do today.

George, you brought tears to my eyes back many years ago.

George, you bring tears to my eyes still today.

George Michael died several days ago, and my tears continue to flow.

the dark side

If it seems I have published lots of downer posts lately, well you are correct I have.  For the month of September, many of my posts are about my life with cancer and the impact it is having on me.  I struggle with my emotions in that I want to deal with it with a positive attitude.  But yet many times I do not, instead I allow cancer to dictate my moods and emotions toward the negative side – the dark side.

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I started chemotherapy the end of August and looking back at my posts in September I see a slide downhill into a dark hole of doom, gloom, despair, negativity and basically a living hell not only for myself, but Gary.  The one person here each and every day to help me is the one person I take my frustrations out on.  This easy going man is receiving the severe brunt response from a person who is allowing cancer to dictate the daily temperament.

So many of those posts in September reflect the transformation of a man once happy to now a man who seems lifeless at times.  September reflected the start of a phase that was unwelcomed and unfamiliar and came in with a vengeance.  This surge forced physical pain into my life, many blood samples, surgical procedures, chemotherapy treatments, doctor’s visits and hospital stays.  I was not ready for this whirlwind of change.

In September, I threw in a few positive posts and still others that were not related to the current happenings of the day.  I have always wanted my blog to be diverse in topics even though the main focus is my life.  But my life currently is focused on cancer and all that it entails.   I do not like that cancer is calling me toward the dark side or it may be that I do not like that I am allowing myself to be called toward the dark side.

I remind myself of that time decades ago and wrote about in my post ‘The Great Depression of the 1980s‘, which included these words –

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This decade evolved into depression, attempted suicides, a stay in a psychiatric hospital, and years of therapy and medications that carried into the next decade.

As a result of these issues I became very depressed to the point that it was difficult for me to get out of bed on some days.  I think I remember once staying in bed for up to 3 days with no desire to do anything.

In today’s post, I conclude with the following –

Decades ago I accepted the calling into the dark side and again today it calls me.  I allowed myself to be tempted and made steps toward the dark side; but I need to stop – because my life and more importantly Gary’s life is experiencing the evil of those steps.

September is over and the downer posts were published.  The change of the season is in the air; the crispness, the coolness, the change in color and the change in nature.  With these changes I to need to change also and my desire now is that my October change is from a step into the dark side to a step in the other direction.  A step into a bright side; brighter emotions, brighter moods and a positive brighter me to deal with cancer.

the drag

I wrote these words a couple of weeks ago when feeling down.   The past couple of weeks at times have been tiring and I am at times beaten down, but I do get up and continue to move forward.

Just know my friends, though at times my posts are negative and sometimes full of despair, my willingness to move forward and overcome is full of strength and vigor.

 

the drag –

 

The drag, the depression; though I have been there before a long, long, long time ago, the memories flood back.

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Feelings, emotions that from a long time ago as a young man, and a young person, experienced; unable to deal with that which was brought to me.

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Today the drag, the depression, though short lived at moments has burst of energy that bring me to tears; bring emotions back; bring feelings that which was me years ago.

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The drag that which brings me down, brings me to tears, brings me to realize feelings, emotions tucked away years ago are there to be relived, to be re-experienced, to be brought back, to be used once again.

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The drag, the depression; daunting at times, short lived, are brought from a place once that was lived and experienced so many years ago; that from which brought me from there to here.

Mother Mary

Last Saturday morning, I voice recorded my thoughts.  Here are those words –

It is early morning and I am exercising this morning.  I am not going to stop exercising just because I have to have my bladder removed.

I made my mom cry the other day.  It upset me that she was crying; she was crying because she knows I am going to go through a major surgery to have my bladder removed and some other organs removed, and that my life will be different.  And, I guess as a parent we don’t like to see our child suffer; we don’t want to see our child struggle and we don’t want to see our child go through certain situations.

I have seen my mom cry before, but not like this.  I saw her cry at the funeral of her mother, my grandmother; I saw her cry last year when her long term companion, her dog Fluffy died.  This time it was different; she was crying because of me.  And I am sure my mom has cried before for me, about me – but not in front of me.  She has always shown strength, always shown courage.

I talked with my mom a couple of weeks ago about this upcoming surgery, the most recent one; and I had told her, I said this is not the end, I feel it, I just know there is more to come.  And I told her also that I will get through it because this is not my greatest battle, my greatest battle has already occurred.  It was that depression, that great depression within me, about me that wanted to bring me down, wanted to end my life, kill me, destroy me – and I battled back, I found the strength and courage and I won that battle.  I overcame that which wanted to beat me down to nothing.

And so, since then I have had battles to fight, obstacles to overcome and received scars along the way; I overcame, I fought through, to move forward – that to which I do every day.  So this battle, this next war; it’s not going to stop me, it’s not going to defeat me, it’s not going to make me weak – not mentally, physically I may have some things to overcome, some struggles to deal with that I have never dealt with before.  But you know what, it is not going to bring me down, not going to defeat me, not going to be the end of me.

Maybe all those scars of battle that I have received throughout my lifetime are just reminders of the strength and courage and the will to overcome.  The will to be better, the will to survive and the will to move forward.  This is just another obstacle, another war, another battle; the one maybe for all my life I have been preparing for.  And that is what I am going to do.

It is not the end of the world and it is not the end of me.

There is still more to come.

Last night

Last night was one of the worst nights I have had.  I literally was up every hour to go to the bathroom.  I looked at the clock each time and once an hour I went to pee.  During the times I was not in the bathroom, my bladder was burning and my lower right back side was pounding with pain.  During the times I was in the bathroom, I was peeing and was in pain during the process.  I cried quite a bit last night, not because of the pain, but because I do not want this type of quality of life.  Why now?

Things are looking good for Gary and I.  The home is in the process of being sold and we are planning our not so distant travel adventure.  I ask again, why now?

During my restless, painful and emotional night, I kept telling myself.  PHAIN – Patience, Happiness And In the moment Now.

I do not want anyone feeling sorry for me because I am feeling what I am feeling at this moment.

Words of encouragement are always helpful – but not needed – but I do favor them.

Yesterday, I spoke with my mom on the phone about the status of me and my future.  She knows I am awaiting surgery and as always she offers words of encouragement as she has always done.  She said you will get through this and I have all my brothers praying for you.  A tear came from my eye and I said “Thank You”.  I told her, I am okay with the cancer and said “It is what it is.”  I also told her that this was not my greatest challenge in my life.  I told her I have already been through the greatest challenge in my life.  “You remember mom, you were there with me during the dark years of depression, the suicide attempts, the physiatrist hospital, the tears, the self-doubt, the self-hating, the self-hurting, the having no reason to live – all those many, many years.”  “That IS my biggest challenge in my life.  And if I can make it through years and years of self-destruction and re-construction to be here today – I can and will get through what life wants to throw in my way.”

You see I know there are others that suffer more than I; both physically and mentally.  I just have a little cancer on my bladder, that is it.  Do I suffer as a result of it?  Yes, I do.

I take responsibility of my cancer for I know I have and had bad habits in my life.  But, I have no regrets.  I cannot have regrets, only experiences and things I learned along the way in my life that brought me here today.

I will get through this, I will make more changes in my life to improve myself and improve my life.

I am down, sad, upset, but motivated.  I may be broken, but I am not defeated.

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